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Valerie Sheares Ashby

Valerie Sheares Ashby, educational innovator

Chemist Valerie Sheares Ashby is a true Tar Heel — a native of Johnston County, a graduate of Clayton High School and a double degree-holder from UNC-Chapel Hill.

She received a bachelor’s degree in 1988, and her doctorate degree in 1994. She joined the Carolina faculty 10 years later. Today, she teaches organic chemistry to sophomores and juniors and introductory chemistry to first-year students.

Ashby, the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor, was featured recently in the (Raleigh) News & Observer. To read the story, visit And to read more about this true Tar Heel, visit